Ah! It’s finally the holiday season. You’ve been waiting for months for this well-deserved break, and now it’s finally here. Healthcare workers are usually eager to have some days off, relax, and make the most out of your time with your loved ones. The healthcare industry can be stressful, and these work-free days can provide a wonderful opportunity to recharge your batteries and come back with even more energy.
But, wait. What happens if a patient needs your help during the holidays? All your staff will probably be at home, so who’s going to take those phone calls? If things were perfect, emergencies would only come up during office hours, but unfortunately, all healthcare workers know how unlikely that is.
Although you and your staff deserve to enjoy your hard-earned time off, your customers will still need an answer to their questions. If there’s no one there to help them, they might just turn to your competition for aid.
Varying Call Volume
Every healthcare business is different, and the volume of calls can vary depending on your field of work. Hospitals can see an increase in patients during the holiday season, while centers that focus on elective procedures might not receive as many inquiries. But regardless of your field, one thing is for certain: you will most likely get a least some calls during the holidays, and no business can afford to lose customers.
Leaving phone calls unanswered can lead to a negative customer experience, decreasing customer loyalty and satisfaction – and thus, also your revenue. But it’s hardly efficient to pay your on-site staff to stay in an empty office all day, waiting for potential calls through the holidays. Besides, nobody wants to be the boss that forces employees to miss their break!
So how can you manage to still answer customer calls while making sure that you and your staff get to enjoy your holidays? Many businesses have found that outsourcing an answering service can provide the solution to this conundrum. By hiring an answering service, you won’t have to pay full-time wages to have calls answered and your patients will still get an amazing customer experience.
Reduce Operational Costs
Answering services provide your business with fully-trained staff that know how to handle each call, conduct sales, collect bills, and provide information about your services. They can even start setting up appointments so that your schedule is ready to go once your break is over. No need to waste time or resources! On the contrary, answering services can maximize your revenue while reducing operational costs.
During the holidays, it’s easy to customize the level of involvement you wish to maintain. Every business has those calls that need to be answered by on-site staff, physicians, or management. For example, you can request that any call coming from investors, suppliers, or patients with serious emergencies be forwarded to you immediately.
You can also choose to not be disturbed at all during the holidays. In this case, an answering service can take messages from callers and deliver them to you when you choose. This will allow you to catch up before you get to work; by the time you open your doors again, your patients won’t even know you were gone at all.
Handling Urgent Calls
For patients in an emergency, calling their doctor’s office and hearing a voicemail message can add to their distress. Many patients can find themselves in vulnerable, nerve-wracking situations during the holidays, and being unable to reach their physician can make them feel unappreciated and scared.
But if your office has an answering service on board, you can leave instructions for operators to forward these calls to you. Even if your practice is closed during the holidays or you are away from home, simply talking to your patients and advising them can help maintain their satisfaction and fidelity to your practice.
Other potential customers might be interested in making a lifestyle change after the holidays, setting health-related goals for the New Year. That could motivate them to call your office and try to set up an appointment to get a head start on their goals. What happens if they can’t reach anyone at your office? Well… they’ll probably find a competitor who has an answering service and can schedule them for an appointment after the holidays.
Anyone who works in the healthcare industry knows that expectations run high and time off is absolutely necessary. But patients could also tell you that having someone available can make them feel appreciated and safe. When you’re working in such a competitive environment, the holidays can provide an opportunity to cement your customer base and even reach new potential clients.
Having a friendly voice answer your patients’ calls during the holiday season can be a great way to prove to them how much you care about their well being, and to prevent your business from slacking even if you’re resting at home.